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Automate Your Supplier Community

Embrace digital transformation to achieve a touchless P2P automation process.

Customers today see massive value in driving compliant, touchless procure to pay processes that automate transactions between suppliers and buyers.  However, many organizations pursue a path that is too narrow (division-specific), or they adopt hybrid solutions (think invoice scanning) that still rely on manual work. They may also consider outsourcing, which can be extremely costly and reduce or eliminate opportunities to innovate and be creative. 

It is possible to achieve a touchless environment through the automation of invoice capture, matching, approval, and ERP updates.  The benefits realized are immense, including operational efficiencies, cost reduction, and customer satisfaction.

Businessman touching transformation application

Let's take a look at three improvements you can make now to automate your supplier community and achieve a touchless environment.

1. Execute on an e-invoicing strategy

Create a relationship with your suppliers, and give them a platform, and an environment where e-invoicing can take root. Provide a flexible data exchange platform that includes a supplier portal and integrated supplier processing. All electronic data formats should be supported: EDI, XML, CSV, and custom formats. Additionally, guarantee a clean data feed through the implementation of upfront business rules and validation to eliminate issues before they end up in your ERP system and require exception handling.  All of these improvements will provide a more successful platform for teams to adopt.

It is important to note that sending emails, scanned images, and other forms of electronic paper does not reap the same benefits. With true e-invoicing, you will begin to realize the benefits of touchless processes. Customers estimate that they have cut their processing times by more than 80% and reduced the cost of processing an invoice by more than 90%.  

2. Automate workflows and approvals

You can remove manual touchpoints by implementing a streamlined workflow available within your data platform. This streamlined workflow tackles the stubborn issues of manual processes, such as pricing variances, receipt variances, and manual GL encoding that all utilize different personnel and departments. Not only should you automate these manual touchpoints, but said automation must meet the unique needs of your organization's business process. 

All P2P processes are not alike. Unique business circumstances like yours require the ability to configure complex work streams, when necessary, as well as multi-tier approval processing to achieve a touchless environment. Ensure that your automation plans include the ability to understand your data structure and your unique P2P processes. Once done, you can reduce headaches and save money.

3. Eliminate manual dispute resolution

Businesses today are inundated with paper disputes that are challenging for both you and your suppliers. Dispute processing is ripe for automation and the implementation of a touchless process. Dispute resolution automation promises to eliminate costly back-end paper processing, improve business efficiency, and facilitate timely communication with your suppliers.

Recently, a customer who had automated this process reduced its help desk backlog from 4,000 emails a week, that were 90 days old, down to no backlog.  The ability to respond to "tickets" with no delay improved relationships with suppliers, cut costs with allowable deductions, and freed up time that initially was not thought possible.  These tremendous results were made possible through on-line supporting documentation, a history of all communication between parties, and supplier self-service inquiries that reduced the need for help desk intervention. All available on-demand, securely and consistently.


For more information on how to achieve your goals for a touchless P2P process through e-invoicing, automation of workflows and dispute processing, contact Direct Commerce at 415-288-9700 or request additional information

Topics: Dispute Resolution, eInvoicing, Workflow, Automation, Supplier Portal